333: The Center for Lessons Learned

333: The Center for Lessons Learned

May 25, 2007
Four years into the Iraq War, what have we learned? Soldiers, civilians, Iraqis, and Americans talk—and sometimes yell—about what they've learned in the last few years...including how to stay alive and why the aftermath of a war can be the trickiest time of all.
WEB EXTRA: BONUS AUDIO
We found ourselves in a strange situation with this show: We had a great story that was literally hard to hear over the radio. It's a phone call with a 20-year-old medical student in Baghdad, and the audio quality is a little too sketchy for broadcast, but not too terrible to listen to sitting at a computer or—even better—on headphones. She says some amazing things, including a story about a U.S. soldier who was stationed in Iraq whom she got to know over the Internet. He wanted to meet her in person, so he set up a fake roadblock and checkpoint on the route between her house and her school. Listen here. (10 minutes)
  • This American Life producer Nancy Updike tells the story of Conrad Crane, the head of the U.S. Army Military History Institute. Along with Andrew Terrill, he was commissioned by the Army to look at previous post-war occupations and give advice about how to stabilize and reconstruct post-war Iraq. The booklet they produced, which includes nine pages of detailed instructions on how to occupy Iraq, predicted many of the problems that eventually came to haunt the occupation. Although it was admired by successful commanders in Iraq, including H.R. McMaster, Updike explains why it was ignored by Pentagon officials. (22 minutes) EducationGovernmentIraqMilitary
    Song:
    • "Instrumental", Arthur Russell

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